At the start of the 2019 season, the Shoreham-Wading River girls soccer team set lofty goals for itself. For all the success the program had achieved in recent years, a Long Island Championship remained elusive.
The Wildcats would go on to capture that and more.
The season featured plenty of highlights, including in mid-September when coach Adrian Gilmore reached the 100-win milestone as the Wildcats coach. The Wildcats won that afternoon 2-0 over Westhampton Beach and plenty more wins would follow.
As the playoffs began, the Wildcats faced an early test when their game against Hauppauge was played on a night with wind gusts in the 30-40 mph range. The extra challenge hardly slowed down the Wildcats as they prevailed 4-0 to advance into the county championship game.
The drama was just beginning.
Playing against Harborfields in the Class A final, the Wildcats trailed 1-0. Facing the early hole, the Wildcats bounced back when Ashley Borriello scored an equalizer after the ball was bounced around the penalty area and found its way to her feet. Borriello quickly put the Wildcats ahead just 2:14 later when she scored on a header. The goal lifted the Wildcats to their third county championship in six years.
To finally get past the L.I. final required overtime.
Facing Nassau champ Massapequa, the Wildcats rallied again for a 2-1 overtime win as Elizabeth Shields scored 1:43 into the extra period. SWR again overcame a 1-0 hole.
The win sent the Wildcats to the final four for the first time. And playing at SUNY/Cortland, the Wildcats needed no comebacks.
An early goal from Borriello lifted SWR to a semifinal win against Jamesville-Dewitt. And in the state championship, the Wildcats won 2-0 against Spencerport.
The Wildcats finished the season ranked 19th in the nation in the USA Today Sports Super 25 Expert Rankings.
Photo caption: Jessica Nastasi of SWR and Kathleen Fitzgerald vie for possession. (Credit: Rich Barnes/file)